empathy

The Weird and the Wonderful

As soon as I stepped into the Tanas gallery for the Zwölf im Zwölften exhibition of contemporary Turkish art I was blown away by a gust of warm air that felt and sounded like I’d stepped into a giant hair dryer! No this wasn’t part of the exhibition but reflected it quite well! So many of my senses were stimulated and I felt like a child exploring our weird and wonderful world for the first time! There was something new and unexpected around every corner, surprisingly even hidden in the walls! I also felt like I was hearing the world for the first time. There were so many different sounds coming from different nooks and crannies that I had yet to discover. These were eerie, annoying and natural noises, not to mention the occasional eruption of the hairdryer and exclamation of surprise when someone else entered the gallery!

Not quite a Turkish delight!


This exhibition was full of quirky emotion and even hit my funny bone. However not all the feelings were good! Ironically sickening: This describes the American flag made of chewing gum and accompanied by a video of its construction, because it made me feel physically nauseous! Mould and spit dribbles decorate this piece but from far away you can’t see these flaws. Is this a criticism on consumerist society which shapes the western world? I really liked the point it was making but had to move on!

 tanas-zwoelf im zwoelftenA surprise around every corner. Photo: Frances Cragg


Who am I?


The exhibition handles the topic of growing up or living in a foreign place raising the question of identity.  At this exhibition the carpet, a traditional form of Turkish art, is transformed in a couple of works, reflecting their creators: originally and traditionally Turkish but altered. ?akir Gökçeba?’s “Gebet fuer Regen”, for example, retains only the boarder of the Turkish rug acting as a frame. I like to look at it with a glass half full perspective: the artist lives away from his roots but they still frame his identity.

Back to reality


A whole range of experiences and feelings has left me excited. After a final blow from the hairdryer I left the playground to join the predictable world. Unfortunately the location of the gallery contrasts its exciting interior and all I could hear were the cars, at least Invalidenstrasse is just around the corner!

  • Tanas – “Zwölf im Zwölften“, December 10th 2011 – March 10th 2012, Mon-Sat: 11am-6pm